Raleigh Report

Remembrance, services scheduled for former Raleigh councilman Thomas Crowder

Former councilman Thomas Crowder will be remembered at a gathering of friends on Friday and at a church service on Saturday, according to the city of Raleigh.

Crowder left his Raleigh City Council position of 11 years last month due to advancing illness. He died Tuesday, about 18 months after he was diagnosed with testicular cancer.

His family will receive friends from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 17, in the lobby of Meymandi Concert Hall, which is part of the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, at 2 East South St. in Raleigh.

On Saturday, Western Boulevard Presbyterian Church will host a service in Crowder’s memory at 11 a.m. The church’s address is 4900 Kaplan Dr. in Raleigh.

The city is accepting expressions of gratitude or condolence via the email address public.affairs@raleighnc.gov, with plans to compile the sentiments for the Crowder family.

Flowers are welcome, according to the city, as are donations to Boy Scouts of America, Occoneechee Council, at 3231 Atlantic Avenue, Raleigh, N.C. 27604.

The city on Thursday also released a written statement from Kay Crowder, Thomas Crowder’s widow, who will complete his term as District D representative.

“Thank you for the outpouring of love for my husband, Thomas Crowder. In his last weeks he and I were very moved by the many acts of kindness extended to him and our family. I appreciate that Thomas had the opportunity to learn the tremendous impact he had on so many people,” Kay Crowder wrote.

“I’m proud that Thomas forged such a strong bond with our district, and that it extended citywide. To many, he was the ‘anti-politician.’ In fact, when anyone referred to him as a politician, he explained that he was a public servant,” the statement continued.

“Thomas never intended or wished to run for higher office because he felt he could accomplish so much more for the City of Raleigh by serving on the City Council.”

One of the late Crowder’s chief concerns after his diagnosis was the question of who would represent his constituents, his wife recalled.

“ He felt I was the one person he could trust to finish the work he began in his sixth term on the City Council, and that my background in business and finance are additional strengths I will bring to the table,” Kay Crowder’s statement read.

“We have discussed and debated almost everything he has worked on for our district for more than 10 years, so I accepted his challenge with confidence,” the statement continued.

The couple spent much of Thomas Crowder’s last weeks talking about the councilman’s concerns and plans for his Southwest Raleigh district, with an emphasis on citizen involvement, Kay Crowder wrote.

“Over the next few weeks I plan to spend private time with my children grieving the loss of this amazing man,” she concluded. “Then I will fulfill the promise I made to Thomas to take care of our district and our city by serving the final year of his term of office with our shared goals as my guiding light.”